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Designer Shoplifters...

Designer Shoplifters and the Mall Cop

I had an 8:00 a.m. breakfast meeting with one of my editors. Usually at these meetings, I want to give the impression that I am hanging on her every word, so I try not to appear distracted by eating too much. I sip coffee, nibble on a muffin, and dream of reaching my hand across the table to snatch some her home fries. 

The most recent meeting lasted about ninety minutes, and I was almost drooling as I stared at her deluxe breakfast, so I vowed that after the meeting was over, I would head to the mall—which was about a half mile down the road—and treat myself to food. With my hunger problem solved, I turned my attention back to my editor and her plans for the magazine. After the business talk ended, we chatted about our families and the state of the writing profession which has been cheapened by sites that pay writers almost nothing. When we were done ranting, we paid our bill and went our separate ways. 

At the mall’s food court, I scarfed down an Egg McMuffin. I had some extra time, so I headed over to the section of the mall that houses the designer stores—and my favorite—Coach. I had been meaning to go to the Coach store for months, but, much to my chagrin, the recession has killed my designer purse allowance. To be brutally honest, my Coach purses have been transferred from my Must Buy List to the When Someone Dies and Leaves Me Money List

Still, I feel at home in that store. It beckons to me from the parking lot, and I feel obligated to stop in and say hello. I know a lot of people find designer purses to be a waste of money, but they are my one true indulgence and the purses last for years, so I sort of think they are worth it. Okay, this sounds like cheap rationalization, but it does make me feel better, so I’m sticking with my delusion.

In the store, I chatted with the sales associate as she handed me the three purses I liked best. Since I have frequent buying miles with Coach for so many years of loyal purchasing, I was still eligible for a discount. I calculated the cost and thought that maybe I would treat myself after my next paycheck. She understood, shook my hand, and I headed for the door.

That is when I heard the screaming. The sales associate and I looked toward the exit and saw a security guard tussling with two women who allegedly had tried to walk off with merchandise from one of the other designer stores across the way. 

“Get your F$*&ing hands off of me!” a petite blonde screamed.

“Calm down NOW!” the security guard yelled at the woman as he tried to take hold of one of the dynamic duo’s arm. 

I was shocked. I had never witnessed a cop/criminal scuffle before. Okay, technically, it was a rent-a-cop/criminal scuffle, but I was still impressed. These women were not teenagers either. I would guess them to be well into their thirties, and they were dressed to the nines.

“Get your hands off of her!” commanded the blonde’s dark-haired partner in crime, who while smartly attired, looked like she could bench press a Toyota. “Let go of her arm!”

When the security guard refused, the powerful brunette tried to kick him.

The Coach sales assistant and I could not help but stare.

“Did she just kick him?” I asked.

“Yes, I think they are trying to bite him,” she observed.

“Wow, those are tough chicks,” I commented.

I do understand that the situation was not funny, but in my head, it looked like a scene from the old Batman show—which, by the way, is on at 5:30 a.m. on the HUB channel—especially when four additional security officers raced to the scene on their Segway scooters. During the fracas that ensued, I swear I saw the words Kazam, Bang, and Pow suspended in cartoon clouds over the heads of all those involved in the altercation.

Finally, the ruckus calmed down and the five security guards led the two alleged shoplifters off into the sunset … or maybe to designer prison. (Notice that I said allegedly twice. I emphasize this because I know if you leave that word out when describing a criminal, lawyers come crawling.)

The salesperson looked at me and apologized for the excitement.

“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “You had nothing to do with it.”

With that, I left thinking that this whole drama was a sign from the universe that my purse was destined to be in my hands. I don’t know how I got that idea from the situation, but nonetheless, I felt a sense of calm when I left the Coach store, and I had not felt that calm for a long time. Yes, I think my Coach purse is calling to me loudly now, and I am confident I am going to bring her home soon. I wonder if there is a way to get in touch with the alleged shoplifters. I think I owe them for bringing a ray of hope into my purse-depleted life.  

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